Earth Day - Easy Ways to encourage kids to be eco-friendly April 20, 2018 20:28 1 Comment

At Poncho Baby, we believe the Earth Day is every day.  Parents have a big role in teaching kids about the beauty of nature and how to protect it.

Besides, showing your children ways to "go green" not only increases the fun things you do together (liking playing in the park, planting a garden, or walking the dog) it can also help you save on electricity and water (by teaching them to turn off lights and taps.) 

These are some helpful tips:

  1. Make spending time outdoors part of their life while having fun: Both they and you benefit -- being outside in the sunshine helps them produce vitamin D, necessary for a healthy life, and visiting parks gives them wide open green areas where they can run off some of that boundless energy. (And maybe see some cool sights!). Make it fun - we love to collect leaves to identify later, learn the names of the flowers we see, or take cell phone pictures of birds for a bird journal.

2. Encourage activities outdoors with your kids: Walk or bike to the post office or grocery store. Or a farmer's market--some of them have music and lots of people strolling around, offering a fun atmosphere. (And you can let the kids help pick out the organic veggies to eat!) Dogs are great motivators for getting outdoors. And they teach children wonderful lessons in love, responsibility, and care for the neighborhood (by picking up after your pet.)

3. Create a garden with your kids: Start with flower seeds and let them see what a little water and sunshine can produce. Or better yet, plant a vegetable garden and they will (okay, they may) want to eat the fruit (and veggies) of their labor. If you don't have a backyard, some veggies and herbs do well on balconies and windows in pots. We are getting ready to start our garden this spring. We love tomatoes, peppers, herbs, blackberries and strawberries. Our girls' school has a wonderful vegetable garden and they do delicious teastings each season.

4. Use reusable containers and recycle: There are lots of options for school lunches, picnics or other activities at home or outside, such as water bottles, bento boxes, eco friendly utensils and cloth napkins. Let them decorate their boxes and water bottles with paints or stickers to make them truly theirs. Our girls use reusable water bottles and bento boxes for their lunch at school, with our organic washcloths as a reusable napkin. When you don't have reusable products, teach them to recycle. Show them the different products that can be recycled such as glass, plastic and metal, and where to find the code on plastics that tell them whether or not this item is recyclable.

5. Teach kids the importance of conserving food: Once they've had the fun of picking out items at a farmer's market, or growing it themselves, they can more easily see the value of each item of food, and how much work it takes to get it from the farm to the table. (Or the backyard to the table!) This might also help you in getting them to eat everything on their plates. We love to make lemonade with black berries with the produces from our garden, and our girls love picking the herbs when we cook at home.

6. Explain to them about water conservation: In certain areas, especially southern California or Arizona, that means planting more drought tolerant plants in the garden. Let them help you pick out which plants to use. It also means running the dishwasher only when there's a full load, and turning off the water while they brush their teeth.

7. Talk to them about power conservation: Less power means less greenhouse gases from power plants, so practice turning off lights and the TV (and the computer!)

8. Have them search for eco-friendly products when you go to the store: Points for being the first one to spot the green products!  We talk to our kids about why we pick some products to avoid unnecessary chemicals in the environment (and on ourselves), such as sunscreen, soap, shampoo, lotions, conditioner, house cleaning products among others. We avoid oxybenzone in the sunscreen for our kids and buy eco-friendly cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer's

9. Watch programs that connect kids with nature: There are a lot of choices, like Planet Earth, National Geographic, the Discovery channel, or Animal Planet.

10. Encourage them to give back to the community: Show them how good it feels when we help others. Every three months, my girls and I select books, clothes and toys that they have outgrown. We like to take them to Baby2Baby which focuses on supporting low income kids. You can also involve them in projects that help keep your community clean and beautiful, by taking them with you to participate in community organizations that clean local parks or beaches, or plant trees.

Mother Earth will thank you!

Looking forward to making a better world with our kids, friends, family and our village.
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